Current IOC guidelines ban any form of protest at the Olympics, including taking a knee, raising a fist or refusing to follow protocol at medal ceremonies.
However, the death of George Floyd
in Minneapolis last month, which has prompted demonstrations across the US and around the world, has seen some sporting bodies rethink protests bans.
“The IOC Executive Board supports the initiative of the IOC Athletes’ Commission to explore different ways of how Olympic athletes can express their support for the principles enshrined in the Olympic charter, including at the time of the Olympic Games, and respecting the Olympic spirit, ” IOC president Thomas Bach said on Wednesday.
“The framework has been set and now let the Athletes’ Commission and the athletes discuss amongst themselves and come up with the relevant proposals.”
In a statement, the IOC said the Olympics, which have been postponed to 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic
, are a “very powerful global demonstration against racism and for inclusivity.”
, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that the league was wrong for not listening to players protesting against racism, a movement that started when former San Fransisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the anthem.
The US Soccer Federation has repealed its policy
requiring players to stand during the anthem, while FIFA President Gianni Infantino said that recent demonstrations by players deserve “applause and not a punishment.”
American hammer thrower Gwen Berry told CNN earlier this year
about how she lost some of her sponsorships after protesting on the podium of the Pan American Games.
Berry received a 12-month probation from the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee for raising her arm while the anthem was playing. She told CNN it was “extremely devastating” to have her revenue cut off.